Conch shells, African djembe drums,
and about 300 students, including members of Circle K at HPU,
kicked off the fourth annual Hawai‘i International Education
Week, which runs Nov. 17-21.
The U.S. State Department’s Patricia Harrison, assistant
secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcomed
the students to the Nov. 13 opening ceremony at the East-West
Center’s Imin Center. It was followed by student-designed
and student-led workshops throughout the morning on the themes
of how, when, and why people around the world give thanks.
The workshops covered all the five
key world regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and
the Pacific. Activities included such diverse cultural celebrations
as the Harvest Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria and the Swiss
Onion Festival in Switzerland.
As we embark on our holiday of thanksgiving, we’re using
the ideas of ‘thanks’ and ‘gratitude’ as
universal, core values shared by all cultures around the world,
linking us as one world,” said program coordinator Terrina
Wong of the Wo International Center at Punahou School, one of
the co-sponsors of Hawai‘i International Education Week.
Hawai‘i has been at the forefront of all the states in
organizing global-learning activities, since the U.S. Departments
of State and Education first proclaimed International Education
Week across the nation four years ago.
Other Hawai‘i International Education Week activities included
recognition of Hawai‘i’s top global educators and
middle- and high school programs on global conservation of water,
scheduled for Dec. 11.
Co-sponsors of the Fourth Annual Hawai‘i International
Education Week are the East-West Center, the EWC’s AsiaPacificEd
Program for Schools, Group 70, Hanahau‘oli School, Hawai‘i
Institute for Human Rights, Circle K at HPU, Hokulani School,
Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, Punahou School, the state
of Hawai‘i Department of Education, United Nations Association-USA
Hawai‘i Division, UH-Manoa International Student Association
and Wo International Center at Punahou School.
The participating students in Thursday’s event come from
grades 3-6 at Epiphany, Hanahau‘oli, Ho‘ala, Hokulani,
Hongwanji Mission, Kuhio, Monetessori Community, and Punahou
Visit EastWestCenter. org for more information. .